May 30, 2018

Labor welcomes the announcement today that the Catholic Church will join the national redress scheme for institutional survivors of child sexual abuse. 

This is an important milestone on the path to redress and justice for survivors, and it means we are one step closer to survivors getting the redress they deserve.

Today is a particularly significant day for the thousands of people that have fought so long and so hard for redress and justice.

We particularly acknowledge Leonie Sheedy and everyone at the Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN), Chrissie Foster and her late husband Anthony Foster, and the many Australians who fought against the Catholic Church for so many years for the truth to be revealed. 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that the scale and severity of abuse in the Catholic Church was appalling. 

Between 1980 and 2015, there were more than 4,000 people who reported allegations of child sexual abuse to Catholic authorities.

In total, the Royal Commission estimated that around 7 per cent of Catholic priests in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sexual abuse. 

The Royal Commission referred at least 300 matters relating to abuse in the Catholic institutions to the police.

The Catholic Church bears a huge responsibility, and it is welcome it has made the decision to be the first non-government institution to join the redress scheme.

There is no excuse for any state government, church, institution or non-government organisation, not to join the national redress scheme where sexual abuse has occurred.

We urge all remaining states and institutions to sign up to the scheme as soon as possible.

The Gillard Labor Government established the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.

We understand that no amount of money can make up for the pain and trauma experienced by survivors.

However redress is an important step along the road to healing for survivors.


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Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra